Marine mechanics work with the electrical and mechanical parts of boats’ engines. These mechanics repair an engine when it goes out and inspect it for boat owners who want to check up on their boat. A marine mechanic, also known as a boat mechanic, works with propellers and steering systems on a boat as well. They are qualified to repair these parts of the boat as well as jet skis and wave runners.
Marine mechanic jobs involve working with several different kinds of boats, including small boats, cabin cruisers, yachts, ferries and fishing boats. Larger boats are typically powered by gas or diesel engines, which the mechanic only removes when there is a serious problem with the boat. The mechanic will usually fix a problem with these large boats right at the dock or marina, while boats with easily removable engines are usually brought to a easily removable are usually brought to a marina or repair shop, where the mechanic has more equipment to work with.
Marine mechanic jobs involve first diagnosing the problem with the boat. Whether it is a mechanical or electrical problem, the boat mechanic should be skilled in recognizing the problem and the best strategy for fixing it. Equipment maintenance is important, as the mechanic will often need the most current parts to repair a boat. Computerized testing is sometimes an option with larger motorboats of established models.
Maintenance jobs are also part of a marine mechanic’s duties, as the boat must constantly be checked for safe operating conditions. Maintenance work involves inspecting the boat’s parts and testing the engine and systems. If a problem is found, the marine mechanic must disassemble the motor and test all the parts. Those that are faulty need to be replaced, and mechanics will either be able to supply or recommend the necessary parts to get the boat up and running again.
Mechanic jobs also include adjusting the generator, replacing the wiring, inspecting the pumps, gears and rings and realigning the steering. When the marine mechanic tests the engine, he or she should look for signs such as smoking or vibrating, which will indicate a problem with the engine. Marine mechanic jobs can be physically demanding and require long hours in the sun, and boat mechanics must often work weekends, as this is when marinas are most widely used by recreation boaters.
Marine mechanic jobs require the completion of mechanic school, where the person will learn the basics of mechanics and electricity, the many functions of the boat and its parts and the detailed workings of a boat’s engine. Most programs last for two years, and upon completion, the marine mechanic receives an associate’s degree. Marine mechanic jobs are, of course, in greater demand in ocean towns, and about 20 percent of boat mechanics are self-employed. To succeed as a marine mechanic, a person should be detail-oriented, good at following instructions, able to work independently and have the utmost concern for water safety.